Weekly Mozilla News Beat, August 21, 2020


By Mozilla | Aug. 21, 2020 | Moz News Beat

Mozilla News Beat

Dogs & Deep Breaths

2020 is stressful. Dogs are relaxing. Guided meditation is relaxing. Guided meditation with dogs might be the only thing to help us survive 2020. Here’s the video, get relaxed! Via Gizmodo

Mask Launcher

It’s no secret many Americans hate masks...and love guns. One creative YouTuber showed off his mask launching gun as a bit of fun and to remind folks to wear a mask in public! Via Popular Mechanics

Plan Your Vote

November 3rd is a very important Election Day in the US. Voting during a pandemic is a challenge, which is why it’s important to make your plan to vote safely now. NBC put together a great site to help you make a plan. Get on it! Via NBC News

Doing It Right

Indigenous communities in Brazil are very susceptible to COVID-19. Here’s the story of how one small community—the Kuikuro—successfully used technology to contain the virus. Via Slate

Will Tech Get It Right?

The Black Lives Matter movement hopes the tech industry will keep stepping up in the fight for racial justice. That means going beyond PR moves to fight for laws and policies that keep tech from harming communities of color. Via Engadget

Big Tech’s Domination

In the first seven months of 2020 the top five Big Tech companies—Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, & Facebook—saw their stock rise by 37%. All other stock fell by 6%. What does this unprecedented growth of wealth and influence by Big Tech mean for the future? Via NY Times

QAnon Be Gone

Facebook is finally cracking down on QAnon—a bunch of false conspiracy theories that grew out of internet cesspool 4chan and has driven some supporters to violence—a month after Twitter limited the group’s spread. Via Vox Recode

Telegram Revolution

Protesters in Belarus are organizing over encrypted chat app Telegram to stay safe as protest leaders are jailed and the internet is blacked out. “Never before in history has one technology decided so much the political fate of a country,” says one protest leader. Via Wired UK

A-level Fail

When A-level exams were canceled this year in the UK due to the pandemic, an algorithm took over to determine students’ grades. Nearly 40% of students saw their grades downgraded, a disproportionate number of those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Via The Guardian

Drunk Detector

Researchers just showed how your phone can likely determine if you’re drunk. Great, how soon until advertisers can target drunk folks with gambling or pizza ads? Via Gizmodo

Policing Your Feelings

A British police force plans to test a new facial recognition system that claims it can tell a person’s mood using emotion detection AI. Aside from all the scary privacy implications, there’s many studies that say this tech doesn’t work. Via The Next Web

Public Health Danger

A new report by the group Avaaz concludes that Facebook is a major threat to public health due to the massive amount of health misinformation spread on the platform. Facebook’s algorithm helped drive 3.8 million views of health misinfo in the past year. Via BBC

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